Feature Friday: A Conversation with Diana Giovinazzo

Today for Feature Friday, I am excited to interview Diana Giovinazzo!

Diana is a long-time friend and critique partner of mine, whose debut novel The Woman in Red is will be published by Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hatchette Book Group. We’ve talked to one another about all stages of the writing process.

Since the theme lately has been about how we put ourselves out there as writers, I thought Diana would be the perfect person to talk about this topic with us.

Amanda: Hi Diana! Thank you for talking to me about this today! As I’ve talked to you about in the past, it’s really scary as a writer or creator of any sort to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and put both ourselves and our work out there. What advice would you give an author who is on the fence about sharing their work with others, or who is anxious about querying?

Diana: Thank you! I am honored to be here. To be a writer means that you slit your wrist and pour it on the page and to share that can be scary, but its that vulnerability that makes the art. Every writer I have ever talked to is anxious about their work being shared. It doesn’t matter if it’s their first book or their fifth book, they still worry about how others will perceive their work. That fear and doubt never go away, you can either let it dictate your dreams or, to paraphrase Carrie Fisher, you can just do it anyway and tell the fear to F*^@k off.

Amanda: How would you describe your querying experience? Was there any point where you were just like “nope, I want this to end now”?

Diana: Querying was both the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Almost every week I was sending out query letters and when you get email after email of people saying, at best, “I like your book but I don’t love it enough to represent you,” you start to get a little frustrated and that self-doubt comes in as you wonder am I good enough. I came really close multiple times of giving up but I promised myself that I would stick with it until I pitched 100 agents. I also had a great support network of friends that I could turn to. (And if you are wondering, my agent was #87)

Amanda: What things can a writer or creator do to make sharing their work less scary? Does that fear ever go away?

Diana: Lol, see question one above. I think to get used to having others get used to reading your work, the best thing to do is to to work with a critique partner or two. At least, in my opinion, the writing  relationship we developed was incredibly nurturing so that when I submitted my work out to others it made it easier for me to deal with their feedback

Amanda: What are you most excited for with the publication of your debut novel?

Diana: Honestly, I am most excited about it getting out into the world. From start to finish, it’s taken me roughly four years and I can’t wait to see the finished product sitting on a store shelf. It’s something I have dreamed of since I was a kid.

Amanda: Where do you feel most vulnerable with the publication of your debut novel?

Diana: Honestly, nowhere. I have the most amazing agent and editor at Grand Central that believe in my book just as much, if not more so than I do. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic experience.

Amanda: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about sharing your work with others?

Diana: “Unless you are being rejected at least five times before breakfast you aren’t working hard enough.”

Amanda: Thank you so much for talking to me about vulnerability as a writer and creator. I can’t wait to see The Woman in Red on shelves.

Diana: It was my pleasure! I can’t wait, for it to come out as well. If you want to stay up to date with what’s happening with my book feel free to sign up for my newsletter.

FInd Diana on Social Media

Follow her on Twitter @DianaGauthor
Like Diana’s author page on Facebook
Check out her INSTAGRAM (there’s dog pics)!

A really long time ago, I interviewed Diana about being Critique Partners! SEE THAT HERE.

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Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creations

Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creativity

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable with your writing, art, or other creations?

Does the thought of that make you want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers? I admit it makes me want to. But as authors and creators we have to open ourselves up and be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is defined as “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon, open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.” (dictionary.com).

So sharing our work with others is the most vulnerable creatives can be. Whether it is sharing with a critique partner or beta reader, querying, publishing, or asking people to read and review your work. There is always the chance that something can go horribly wrong, that you will recieve harsh feedback or criticism of your art.

But there is also the chance that something amazing can happen.

That is what I want you to remember.

I’ve been sitting on a finished manuscript since last summer. It’s done, edited, and the best I can possibly make it on my own. Yet, I’ve done absolutely nothing with this since last September, with the intent to query but that never happened. Why? Because I am afraid of allowing myself to be vulnerable. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, vulnerability makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide. My writing, while not autobiographical in the least, is where I am most vulnerable. So much of me went into this book. The thought of people reading it is terrifying to me. The thought of sending a query letter and the first chapter to agents makes me anxious as hell. It’s not the rejection that scares me as much as putting my work (and myself) out there.

Last week, I confronted my issues with vulnerability.

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